back when i first knew i would adopt and raise zeeona, it was believed by all that she was a boy. and i was really excited.
i’ve raised two girl children, but never a boy! i was ready to bring out all my tom-girl best! teach him to fish, to build tree-houses, and i could buy hot wheels and train sets and all the other toys i wanted as a child, which having been born female santa never brought me.
so here we are, she is a girl undoubtedly. but she is the same sort of girl that i was. she likes dinosaurs and hot wheels, climbing trees and all the stuff i loved as a child.
it has been a blast raising her. during the four years everyone (but she) thought she was a girl, we did so many fun things together. and we have been doing them ever since. traveling, camping out, landscaping and playing with what most folk consider ‘boys toys’.
but i am having a bit of separation anxiety over one particular thing in this change-up pitch i got tossed as her parent.
it’s the photos.
yes, sadly, i was totally able to give up the notion that this time i’d be raising a boy. especially since she is not too much of a ‘girly’ girl.
but i’ve taken soooo many photos of all our experiences together! the trip to hawaii, to belize. the photos of her piloting a plane, steering a sail boat and so many more.
it is these that i am having trouble giving up.
you see, zeeona doesn’t really want photos of herself as a boy hanging around. first the ones displayed on the walls had to go. then the ones in our photo albums and the slideshow on the computer.
i haven’t really deleted them, or thrown them away. i keep thinking that some day she might want to refer to them. not as they relate to her having started life in a boy’s body, but as they depict her life, the memories of times that we did things that were really special.
and she has yet to demand that i trash them all. she simply doesn’t want to see them.
i can always sneak peaks when she’s in bed, did i want to see them. but if she does one day ask me to delete them, to get rid of any reminder of the pain she felt at being defined ‘boy’, what will i do?
do i pretend to have thrown them out in case when she’s older she decides she’d like to see them again? and why am i so attached to them?
one reason for the attachment is that once upon a time i had albums full of photos of my girls which were destroyed in a flood following a particularly nasty storm. now i have very few intact from those parts of life.
guess this will be the least of the worries zeeona and i will have in our so-journ together on this trek called life.
there is the whole medical part of ensuring that she’s able to transition into the proper body, advocating for her right to have her identification from birth certificate to passport, driver’s license and every thing else reflect her proper gender, being there to put the pieces back together when she learns the hard way how closed other people’s minds are toward trans-folk like herself.
at least for now she hasn’t demanded that i delete or trashcan these mementos. so perhaps she never will. but it was quite enlightening to realise how much these photos mean to me and how much she wishes they didn’t exist.
in the end, it will be her decision.
there are still many years’ worth of moments to memorialize from the times since she began living outloud as the girl she is up until she leaves home and beyond. and we are a couple of shutterbugs so no worries.